Corneliu Bodea, Adrem: “The energy market will have a spectacular growth on the long term”
In 2021, Adrem continued to develop and implement integrated solutions for the energy infrastructure (electricity and gas), sustainable technologies and services for its industry clients, with a focus on digitalization, automation, and energy efficiency.
“We expanded our B2B and B2C green energy portfolios for e-mobility infrastructure, prosumer goods and smart home solutions while we continued providing critical services to the distribution operators, such as maintenance and interventions in case of electrical breakdowns or the installation, verification and reading electricity meters,” Corneliu Bodea, CEO Adrem told The Diplomat-Bucharest.
“In 2021 we delivered the design and implementation of nineteen charging stations for electric vehicles in 15 counties and we have 10 more which are currently being designed. Building infrastructure for e-mobility is a key vector for zero carbon and sustainable development and it’s a market we are definitely going to expand in.”
COMMITMENT TO PERFORMANCE | Business Evolution, Projects, PERFORMANCE, Figures
“In 2021 we continued the development and implementation of integrated solutions for the energy infrastructure (electricity and gas), sustainable technologies and services for our industry clients, with a focus on digitalization, automation and energy efficiency. Moreover, we expanded our B2B and B2C green energy portfolios for e-mobility infrastructure, prosumer goods and smart home solutions while we continued providing critical services to the distribution operators, such as maintenance and interventions in case of electrical breakdowns or the installation, verification and reading electricity meters.
We continue growing our business in a sustainable direction and I believe in the coming years energy efficiency and the digitalization of the energy infrastructure will be key elements in the accomplishment of Romania’s transition towards zero carbon. Energy is priceless, invaluable, it’s the very foundation of our modern lives and provides us with the comfort we have become accustomed to. In the past decades we have consumed relentlessly the environmental resources without much concern for the planet or the inheritance of future generations. Now, the time has come for us to take responsibility and pay the price for building a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. Adrem Group embraces these values and supports this transformation with highly trained specialists, novel technology, digitalization services and a solid knowledge we have built throughout almost 30 years of activity.
Speaking of performance in numbers, at present our group registers an EBITDA of 7-8% of turnover, and the target is 10% for the period 2022-2025. We have an ambitious goal of reaching a turnover of one hundred million euros in 2025. In the next years there will be incredible opportunities for complex and challenging projects in the energy industry and we are prepared. Fortunately, Romania still has the resources to overcome tough times of crisis and through the years we, at Adrem, have invested in our employees and have highly capable specialists that can support the development and implementation of such projects.
I think the most important achievement of any business in 2021 was first and mostly safeguarding the health of the employees and their families, while ensuring business continuity during the terrible breakout of Covid cases and high political, economic, and legislative uncertainty. I am very grateful that we successfully navigated these waters and achieved at the same time growth, finalizing projects for which we dedicated several years and expanding our portfolio of clients and services which seemed (and was) a very difficult endeavour under the circumstances.
In 2021 we delivered the design and implementation of nineteen charging stations for electric vehicles in 15 counties and we have 10 more which are currently being designed. Building infrastructure for e-mobility is a key vector for zero carbon and sustainable development and it’s a market we are definitely going to expand in. The rehabilitation of the C.F. Border – Curtici – Simeria, part of the Pan-European Corridor IV for trains was another one of our projects which focuses on the modernization of the transport infrastructure. We also advanced with the integration of transformation stations in the SCADA DMS system and the modernization of electrical substations for our client DEER. Other projects, for the gas infrastructure, included the replacement of the SMG Isaccea 1 natural gas measuring station designed to be able to perform commercial gas measurement in both directions of gas flow, from Ukraine to Romania and vice versa. My colleagues in Adrem Engineering successfully completed the automation of the natural gas transmission pipeline DN600 Ungheni – Chisinau, with a total length of 110 km, located on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. There are many more projects which I believe are of strategic importance to Romania and the national energy system and it’s difficult to choose among them.”
STRATEGY & VISION | RETHINK STRATEGY & PRIORITIES
“In 2021 entrepreneurs in the energy industry faced an unprecedented situation, a cumulation of factors and tangled tensions: the ongoing sanitary crisis; the global energy crisis which especially affected Europe and our country; and the political crisis – unfortunately, our industry is heavily dependent on the political decisions and actions. All these exceeded the already existing systemic problems we had in Romania’s energy industry. During the past 30 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve learned about myself that I am one of those leaders who thrive in a crisis situation and 2021 definitely was a time to make the most of such capabilities.
People are the most valuable resource in my company. So, for me, as CEO, and for my colleagues in the management staff our priority was (and continues to be) to ensure the health and safety of all employees, customers, suppliers, and the people in the communities where we operate. We have 1,500 employees we must look after and 1,500 families that rely upon us, so keeping the business going and protecting their jobs is crucial. Throughout the years there have been tough times in which it was extremely difficult to manage such large numbers of employees, but our strategy has always been to support and strengthen the team and provide job stability. Together we were able to continue providing our customers, throughout the pandemic, with products and services for the digitalization of electrical and gas networks and complex solutions that allow them to optimize their investments and maintenance of the electrical infrastructure. This is a vital and necessary contribution to Romania’s energy transition and the positive outcome of all this crisis is that it strengthened our business partnerships and increased our clients’ trust in us. Moving forward into the prosumer market with smart home products and services was another important goal we accomplished, and I am very proud of the whole team and joint effort that made it possible.
While we faced many challenges and uncertainty during this time, as most businesses have, we are also grateful for the incredible opportunities that lie ahead. Romania’s transition towards green energy marks an incredible milestone and the next decade will be governed by sustainable energy consumption, energy efficiency, the digitalization of the energy infrastructure enabling a whole new phase and deep transformation that goes as far as changing our mentality towards the real value of energy. In 2022 Adrem Group will be celebrating 30 years during which we have been offering our best products and services for energy efficiency. Sustainability was a hard lesson we, humankind, learned especially during the pandemic and I am personally committed, as well as my group of companies, towards sustainable growth and building a culture of responsibility towards the environment and communities. We are fortunate enough, resilient enough to be able to use our resources and experience to make the most of the opportunities that come along with Romania’s transition towards green energy. I have no doubt that the energy market will have a spectacular growth on the long term.”
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY | FOCUS ON SAFETY, SOCIAL APPROACH, LEVERAGE THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
“I am a strong believer in education, education represents our future – that of my companies, our professional and business sector, our society and ultimately the future of our planet. Romania still has a very long way to go in this respect and it’s concerning to see the very difficult circumstances in which most students are learning across the country, especially in rural areas where they lack essential conditions, such as electricity and heat. In 2021 we teamed up with Narada and answered a call for an emergency intervention at one school in Barbosi village, Vaslui county, where the electrical system was so old it was putting everyone’s life at risk. The same system was used during winter, with electric radiators, which means that students often learned in cold classrooms. We replaced the entire electrical system, and we are happy to say that everybody is now safe.
At the beginning of the school year, we also joined CEZ Group in Romania in their educational project “Ucenic electrician” because we believe it is our responsibility to offer opportunities for young people and future professionals in the energy industry to develop new capabilities. Through this partnership the seven high schools enrolled in the program were able to offer students textbooks which they use during their vocational training. CEZ Group in Romania is one of our traditional partners for community engagement and for the past 9 years we have contributed annually to their efforts of supporting local NGOs which enable real change. ”Maratonul Olteniei” is such an example, a sports competition in which Adrem employees have been volunteering at every edition to support each time three social causes for the most vulnerable groups in our community.
Adrem is also a long-term partner of SIER – The Society of Energy Engineers in Romania which supports the professional development of students seeking a career in the energy industry, as well as RBL – Romanian Business Leaders which gives young people aged 16 to 24 a resource platform to help them grow as future entrepreneurs. I am also glad to share with you that I have recently joined Startarium as a mentor I am looking forward to meeting my future mentees, the new generation of entrepreneurs, in the beginning of 2022. “
KEEN ON GREEN | Sustainable, greener, community & environmentally-focus
“New technologies, alternative fuels and their industrial applications create the premises for a truly sustainable future. It is the responsibility of each of us to conduct our activity without exhausting the available resources and without irreparably impacting the environment, thus being able to satisfy the needs of the next generations. In July, Adrem joined The Romanian Energy Center (CRE), LIBERTY Steel Group, MTAG Switzerland and ICSI Ramnicu Valcea in a Pan-European partnership committed to decarbonization and sustainable development as well as incorporating young people into its R&D programs. Together, through research and innovation, we aim to contribute to the decarbonization of heavy industries, by replacing fossil fuels with Hydrogen in the industrial processes, an important step towards achieving the EU’s carbon neutrality commitment. This project represents a common effort in the right direction to support economic, environmental, and social sustainability.
As I revealed earlier, I am a strong believer in education and in my opinion if we wish to change our mentality towards consumption into a more sustainable direction, we need to start by building a community of prosumers. In the past year Adrem Link, through ”Casa Verde” governmental program, has served 200 customers throughout the country who now have functional photovoltaic systems installed. I am glad to say that our teams of specialists also installed photovoltaic systems for nine high-schools from Dolj, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Gorj, Caras-Severin, Constanta and Teleorman. Another program we joined is ”ElectricUp” and we have 80% of our request approved by the authority which means in 2022 Adrem shall be installing 1,6 MW through photovoltaic systems and charging stations for electric cars. Last but not least, through” Casa eficienta energetic” program we offer complete solutions for sustainable energy for town halls in rural areas which are currently still using wood as a main source for heat.
For the past 30 years we have been building expertise and harnessing our resources to help our clients with products and services for energy efficiency. Green driven initiatives are going to play an even greater role in Adrem’s future and I am excited for what the next decade holds for us.”
DIGITAL DNA | Grasping tech, digital innovation, customer -driven, building new bridges
“Our industry is going through a deep transformation, an inevitable and irreversible transition towards carbon neutral energy as part of a global effort to fight climate change. While investing in sustainable energy resources and developing green technologies play an important role, we will not be able to use them at full capacity without smart and flexible transport and distribution energy systems. The slow development of smart grids will delay and reduce the adoption of renewable technology less efficient and more costly. This concept, smart grid, encompasses a multitude of systems, such as smart metering, SCADA solutions, geographical information systems, asset management, demand response etc.
Each company in our group – Adrem Invest, Adrem Engineering and Adrem Link – is specialized in different energy services dedicated to increasing energy efficiency in Romania.
Adrem Invest together with Adrem Link constitute the largest service provider in Romania for utility networks. In 2021 we implemented several projects for our client, Distributie Oltenia, part of CEZ Group in Romania, such as the rehabilitation of electrical networks or smart metering and renewable energy projects implemented together with Adrem Link which in the past years has been developing a strong portfolio of clean energy products and services.
In 2021 Adrem Engineering finalized for our client, Transgaz, the integration in a centralized system of all the information coming from the technological installations related to the BRUA Phase 1 gas pipeline (Podisor – Recas). It is a project of great magnitude which took place over a length of 480 km which involved a large number of multidisciplinary resources and Adrem was a general designer, coordinating three specialized subcontractors. Another project successfully completed was for the 110/20 kV Magura power substation, which was put into operation in 1976 and supplies, through the 20 kV and 0.4 kV distribution networks, the domestic, commercial, and industrial consumers from the north-eastern area of Focsani municipality. This is a power station of major importance in that area and the aim was to reduce technological losses, downtime for consumers and improve the operational safety of facilities. These are just a couple of examples of how Adrem contributes to the digitalization and the development of a safe, dependable, and efficient national energy system.
Finally, Adrem Group is undergoing its own digital transformation. We are one of the largest entrepreneurial businesses in the country, with decades of accumulated knowledge and experience in developing and implementing energy efficient solutions. Our clients rely on us for products and services that will facilitate the digitalization, modernization, and transition of the energy system towards cleaner and more sustainable energy. We have the resources to be one of Romania’s leaders in the energy transition, and digitalization will facilitate our business growth. Internally we are already implementing AI solutions in accountancy and piloting digital applications for increased efficiency. As we know, any digital solution solves just half of the problem because its success lies in the adoption of these technologies. We, the entire energy industry including consumers, need to change our mentality and this is always the most challenging process.”
2021 IN 3 KEY WORDS OR MORE
“Resilience, Solidarity, Organizational transformation & adaptability”
2022 IN 3 KEY WORDS OR MORE
“Sustainable development, Regulatory action, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)”